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Abstract

Although Colombia is a major country of emigration, little is known about its citizens' motivations for migration. Social and economic conditions have been studied as determinants of migration, but violence has received less attention. We examine how social networks and violence function to promote emigration from Colombia by linking event-history data from the Latin American Migration Project to external data on violence and economic conditions. We show that emigration is more likely to be initiated by those with higher education, those with network connections to migrants, and during periods of greater violence and increased police presence. Although violence acts powerfully to determine when people migrate, the geographic distribution of social capital determines where they go. Not surprisingly, migrants go to locations where people in their social networks are currently living or have been earlier.